Family Matters

Budget Friendly Things to Keep Your Kids Busy During Coronavirus Closures

May 4, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus has closed schools for at least a few weeks. While many schools are giving students online schoolwork, that doesn’t necessarily fill the entire day.  Here are some (budget friendly) ideas to keep kids busy at home during this time of social distancing.

  • Set up a scavenger hunt. This is an inexpensive activity that utilizes things that you already have in your house, and depending on how many items you are searching for, it can last a while.
    • Have an alphabetical scavenger hunt – find something that starts with “a”, find something that starts with “b”, and so on and so forth.
    • Enjoy a little fresh air and set up an outdoor scavenger hunt. Write a list of things to find in your yard, such as a twig, 2 smooth stones, a blade of grass, and make a scrapbook or art page out of them!
  • Break out the board games and puzzles. Take out those classic board games that are most likely in the back of your closets, such as Monopoly, Life, Candy Land, and Scrabble. Want something a bit more low key? Complete a puzzle!
  • Do some reading. This is something you have most likely already thought of, but did you know that most public libraries have a digital library of books, services, tools, and even virtual story times? Make sure to check out your local public library website or their Facebook page to see what they offer digitally.
  • Get outside for some fresh air.
    • Draw pictures outside with sidewalk chalk.
    • Go for a walk. You can’t get cheaper than this and it’s good for you.
  • Indoor Crafting!  Pinterest is full of great craft ideas, but here are a few to get you started!
    • Have your child write a letter or card for a family member, local senior, veteran or a hospitalized child.
    • Gather a cardboard box and paint with marbles.
    • Cut spring flowers out of paper and use straws for the stems to make a flower bouquet.
    • Make (and then play) with play dough.
    • With Easter coming up, it’s a great time to focus on Easter themed arts and crafts, here are some great options.
  • Try out some science experiments. Spend some time doing fun science experiments with items you have in your house. Click here for 60 different science experiments to try!
  • Take some time to make homemade meals and dessert.
    • If you have the food items to do so, cook a few meals with your kids that you are able to freeze and heat up later.  
    • For dessert, make your own ice cream. It’s easier (and cheaper) than you think. You only need cream (or half-and-half), sugar, salt, ice, vanilla and two ziploc bags. Click here for the recipe
  • Movie time! Although theatres are currently closed, set up a bunch of pillows, pop some popcorn, and enjoy some screen time at home. Disney+ , Netflix and Hulu have great movie options. This may be a great time to watch some movie sagas you’ve been wanting to have time for, such as the Marvel series, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.
  • Enjoy some virtual visits
    • Experience some of the best museums in the comfort of your own home. Check out these 12 famous museums that have virtual tours.
    • The Milwaukee County Zoo is closed, but they’re still sharing pictures of what their animals are up to on social media and you can even view your favorite animals at the zoo here via live cam here.
  • Additional school type activities.
    • If you feel like your child’s school hasn’t provided enough work to keep up their skills, do some searching online. Scholastic is providing free day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. 
    • If you have kids inside that need to get energy out or want designated breaks during work time, try or Cosmic Yoga.
  • Any great ideas you think should be added to this list? Email

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